awesome creation attest to an awesome Creator!!
Today a post caught my eye that led me to investigate the official page for American Atheists. As I was poking around I came across some very interesting trains of thoughts and many attacks against Christians (some of which are true).
One question posed generated a plethora of responses: “If you used to be religious, what caused you to become atheist? The answers were interesting and quite varied. However this quote caught my eye:
“I’ve never been insulted by hateful Satanists for not believing in their devil, only by loving Christians for not believing in their God.”
Truthfully, I could feel a little anger and irritation rising inside of me as I read some of the rhetoric, and it prompted me to write this quick post and ask this question:
How do you handle people who mock you for believing in God, those who say there is no God and those who are still waiting on proof of an awesome God??
Tags: atheist, believe, christian, creator, faith, God, God is, love, religion
May 16, 2014 at 4:08 am
I remind myself that my relationship with God is personal. While I am commissioned to share the joy and love I receive from God I am not required to convince people to believe in God. The joy of believing is to allow others to experience the joy and decide if they want it too.
May 17, 2014 at 11:29 am
Yes, I agree. God shouldn’t be forced on anyone….the beauty is that we have a choice to believe or not. And yes, our relationship is personal.
May 16, 2014 at 4:12 am
We can give reasoned answers, but so often it just becomes a war of words. If we win, we really have lost if we don’t love the person. God does not need me to win every argument, just to be there and available..
May 17, 2014 at 11:35 am
Hi Lilly 🙂
The core of someone’s beliefs is something that, if we aren’t mindful, can always turn into a war of words. I truly believe how we live our lives and how we treat others is the biggest testament of being “there and available”, as you put it, and what would cause a person to consider our God.
BTW – I love your photos of nature…especially of the birds, they always remind me of God’s splendor.
May 17, 2014 at 4:25 pm
Thank you! Happy Saturday to you.
May 16, 2014 at 2:06 pm
The Bible does speak about what an unbelieving world sees in us when we let our Light shine and let our conduct speak. We should let our deeds be so outrageous that people can’t help but ask for the reason … unfortunately the Christian looks an awful-lot the same as anyone else 😦
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
1 Peter 2:12
Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
May 17, 2014 at 11:38 am
Yep, we should be ‘different’, and seek to consistently represent God in love, because the contradiction of our lives, does more harm than good to others looking on.
I love the poem you reposted.
May 16, 2014 at 5:51 pm
As one of those unbelievers who was once a believer, let me simply say that the beauty in the world can be appreciated by people of faith and no faith. . .and the bad things of the world can be addressed by people of faith or no faith–and maybe they can cooperate? The common element is our humanity. I remember those days of judging others for not believing as I believed. I hope you can move beyond that and follow the path of love, compassion and justice. Do you really think Jesus would mind?
May 17, 2014 at 11:49 am
Yes, the beauty of the world is available to ‘everyone’….that fact is a ‘beauty’ all by itself, as God rains on the just and unjust alike. Of course Jesus wouldn’t mind, as I am sure you will agree that He was the epitome of love, compassion and justice.
The point of this is for ‘us’ to walk like Jesus did and do it consistently with sincerity and without hypocrisy. No one should be accosted for their beliefs, especially when the belief being forced on them demands a change.
That’s the whole point. We love whether we believe alike or not.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
May 17, 2014 at 12:18 am
Maybe read the quote again and instead of getting angry, learn something from it.
May 17, 2014 at 11:57 am
Perhaps it’s my nature and passion, but I do feel some ire when filth is spewed against my God. The point is not to allow that to cause me to misrepresent Him to believer or non-believer alike.
I read the quote quite well and understood it fully. The reason for this post was for my brothers and sisters and I, to check ourselves against how unbelievers perceive our actions as we win others to Christ.
Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
May 17, 2014 at 4:01 pm
What do you consider ‘filth’? I’m genuinely curious.
Also, why does your god need you to defend him or it?
” I, to check ourselves against how unbelievers perceive our actions as we win others to Christ.”
According to polls in developed countries, you’re doing the opposite. People are leaving the church in droves. Perhaps it’s because of how believers get angry so quickly and continue to push outdated morality, such as bigotry against same-sex couples etc.
May 17, 2014 at 11:47 pm
I will suppose that what I consider filth against God would be a moot point here as our sentiment towards God is different. So that consideration will be mine alone.
Nowhere did I say that we ought to defend God. In truth, He needs no defending! He is. We however are to be ready to give a defense/answer for our hope (in Christ). And to do this with gentleness, respect and a clear conscience…(1 Peter 3:15-16).
The gentleness, respect and clear conscience is where many falter, hence the reason I wrote this post and asked the question. So that we are aware and police ourselves accordingly.
There will always be issues with the church as an institution, as this is who Jesus had the most contention with. However, God is still God. I look at it like this: God = eating, the christian = the waitress and the church = the restaurant.
If we go to a restaurant and get bad service from the waitress, we might never go back to that restaurant, or we might go back and ask for a different waitress, however we NEVER stop eating. Many people give up on God because of how others treat them.
God is still God regardless to whether He is misrepresented. Not every christian is intolerant and disrespectful to the opinions and beliefs of others. But there are many who are (as is the case when people talk politics and religion), so that’s why we each must have an understanding of God for ourselves.
In reference to ‘outdated morality’, this concept hinges on the fact that society is changing so our morals are as well. That might be the case, but God never changes. What He likes then, He likes now, and what he hated then, He still hates now. But not just homosexuality, he hates fornication, murder, lying, stealing, hypocrisy, etc. He hates the sin NOT the sinner. And we, as well, need to treat everyone with love and mercy, because the same love and mercy is freely dispensed to us daily. Thank God!
Hope you enjoyed this beautiful day 🙂
May 17, 2014 at 2:49 am
My relationship with God is personal. I believe I am not to convince people to love God but rather to tell people about what God has done for me and love them. Whether they agree with me or not, that cannot change my believe. God is the One that will now change those words I have spoken to anyone so that they can see the reality of His power. That is the mistake some of us christians make at times – we try to force people to come to God. When Jesus came, He loved everybody that crossed His part even those that crucified Him and we are suppose to love everybody that cross our part also. Thanks for sharing!!
May 17, 2014 at 11:54 pm
True, anytime something is forced on us it almost seems repulsive. I do think that the more confident we are in our relationship with God, the more we will be able to represent Him well and win souls for Christ.
May 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm
The thing is I alway take the position where I can’t defend God, He defends me. I always remember 1 Cor. 2:14 Amp. But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. There is no way an atheist will understand the things of God unless they he were to operate from a spiritual place. I totally understand getting upset, we as human beings we defend who we love, but even I cannot understand the fullness of God and only live on what He reveals and what He opens up to me daily. If an atheist has genuine questions and concerns, I would sit and speak with him, but for a debate I’d digress. Also read Romans 2
May 18, 2014 at 12:09 am
Hey Domo 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. Politics and Religion are the two main things that, when debated, could cause us to get quite agitated with each other.
Our lives are the biggest testament that we could have, not mere words.
God needs no defense, but we on the other hand need to be ready to give an answer/defense for out faith… (1 Peter 3:15). This, in my opinion, is where we sometimes falter, especially when challenged.
Blessings my brother 🙂
May 19, 2014 at 3:30 am
Yea Jacq… perfectly correct about 1Pet 3:15, that’s why I only answer when it’s objective. Trust me I’ve learnt this in PC about doctrines etc lol. I tend to deal with them the way Jesus does. Really love this discussion 🙂 great job sis
May 17, 2014 at 9:05 pm
While we may have a personal relationship with Jesus, faith is not personal. We become part of the family, co-heirs with Christ. When we individualize our belief system then we give ourselves permission to be judge of others. Religion expects conformity; Jesus gives freedom. When we deny that freedom we stop being a light of hope. Religious bigotry is not about Jesus. So as you say, are we beacons for Jesus or spotlights on religious belief? We forget the only real enemy Jesus had on earth was the religious elite!
May 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm
Saving faith is expended to all who believe. I do like that you said “Jesus gives freedom”. And you are very right, he couldn’t stand the hypocrisy of the ‘religious elite’ and the fact that they didn’t exemplify the ‘heart’ of God. Which, to me, is something we struggle with; the loving, forgiving, mercy and compassion. Allowing others to have the ‘choice’ whether they want to believe or not, but living our lives in such a way that they would ‘want’ to know the God we serve by observing our lives.
May 18, 2014 at 1:14 am
This is a tough one. I understand how you feel because I feel the same thing whenever I encounter situations like this. Sometimes I smile and say nothing, I always let the Holy Spirit lead my words because I never want to say anything wrong/from my flesh to push them even further in their belief. I also try to remember how long it took me to come to Jesus all the way.
Awesome post! Love it.
May 27, 2014 at 2:09 pm
Ha, yes, I remember how I felt too when someone ‘bombarded’ me with God and how offensive it felt to me. No need to do the same thing to someone else. But, like you said, the Holy Spirit will guide our words because God knows whether someone is ready or not and exactly what they need and how they need it. We just need to be willing and available. 🙂 🙂
Otto von Münchow
May 26, 2014 at 5:30 pm
I think religion is a very personal relationship, of which we all should respect each other whether we believe in this or that or nothing at all. As for myself I do believe there is something bigger than us, but I have a hard time subordinate myself to any dogmas. Unfortunately I do see a lot of people that don’t follow their own religion in the way that the quote in your post states. This is something I find hard to understand, particularly if those people feel and act like they are superior to others.
May 27, 2014 at 2:28 pm
Yes, you have summed up quite well the reason I wrote this post in the first place. Hypocrisy and inconsistency in our lives are detrimental because people much prefer seeing the ‘word’ through our lives, than merely hearing the ‘word’ from our lips. When the two don’t line up, it is such an injustice and misrepresentation to the God that we say we believe in. (Truthfully IF our lives don’t line up, do we REALLY believe??)…
I believe this strongly that’s why that quote stuck out to me.
Anyway, it is interesting that you mention dogma; something laid down by authority as incontrovertibly true. I recently read “Seeking Allah, finding Jesus” by Nabeel Qureshi. It was beyond eye opening to see what happened as Qureshi challenged the ‘dogma’ of Christianity and then was forced to objectively apply the same challenge to the ‘dogma’ of Islam, to see which would stand. It’s a quick read if you get a chance.
Thanks for stopping by…and I do love your blog 🙂
May 29, 2014 at 12:40 pm
This got me thinking. I believe people can easily see Christ in us by our actions. I’ve heard non Christians coming up to me to confirm that I’m a Christian. I do find it difficult to put other people’s beliefs down but whenever anyone asked me about my relationship with God, I don’t always have a ready answer. The Holy Spirit takes care of that for me, I do know that I love God, and there are many evidence in my life to proof the awesomeness of God in my life.
A Muslim lady started following me to church recently, I didn’t do that by my power. When she gave her life to Christ, I knew it wasn’t me, it was Him, my God!
May 29, 2014 at 2:47 pm
Hi Seyi 🙂
Yes, He is totally Awesome….and it is totally intriguing to me to see His prints throughout my life and the lives of others.
So nice about the lady. I was listening to someone yesterday who said “God cannot be explained, He must be Revealed”. I rolled that over in my mind and I like it. I think He knows when one’s heart is malleable and we need to stay available so that the Light of our lives will be their guide…and they can see God in us.
July 12, 2014 at 1:39 am
JC, I am saddened by hateful behavior from anyone about anyone else’s belief system. God is love. It was the love of sincere Christians (the presence of the Holy Spirit in them) that drew me to also follow Christ. Your post is a good reminder to be loving followers of Jesus and not hateful religious people.
Blessings ~ Wendy ❀
August 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm
I missed replying to this 🙂
Yes it upsets me too and I can even remember being insulted by how some approached me when I was unsaved. But thankfully none of that turned me off from God….
I guess the big thing is for us all to remember to do everything ‘in love’ 🙂
September 2, 2014 at 3:41 am
you have a magic ink, What a great post!